What do you like most about your writing? #bloganuary

This month, January 2022, WordPress has kindly offered a blogging challenge, presenting a prompt for each day of the month to help bloggers, new and established alike, get into a mode of writing daily. I take a gander at it, since I appreciate composing, but am not, in every case, totally certain what road. I know that some bloggers become successful by capitalizing on trendy niches or that kind of thing, and that is great. They are welcome to their success. I mostly enjoy the exercise of writing, and I like the feedback I get from people who I manage to reach, who sometimes have a great sense of style to their own blogging.

Photo by Top Down Tech on StockSnap

I can remember doing well in high school English classes, and I was kind of neurotic, trying to write well and feeling I might be but not confident of success. I’ve altered my style since high school. For one thing, when I am blogging in my own “voice,” I tend to emphasize more simple meanings by what I say. There are a few reasons. A favourite quotation of mine is the Einstein quote where he is remembered to have said something like, “Unless you can explain it to an eight-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” To meet that challenge, and I tend to fall into the trap of wordy sentences and poor word choice, as the grammar app Grammarly characterizes those problems, I try to keep my words simple and also, quirky I suppose, I don’t usually emphasize negative expressions, as in trying to make an explanation by outlining what an idea is not. I lean toward positive perspectives that set forth what I need to catch or explain, rather than taking contradicting worries out of the air.

So far, this month, it’s been fun.

What is a road trip you would love to take? #bloganuary

An excursion is extraordinary, assuming you have a touch of resourcefulness about you. If ever the opportunity comes, I think I will be on board, rather than miss out, on what is nearly a surefire recipe for fun.

This writing prompt is funny, too, because the phrase “road trip” reminds me of the Ivan Reitman-directed film (titled Road Trip) of the very early 2000s. That movie’s a comedy, the story of eligible college boys racing cross-country, to intercept a videotape, mistakenly placed in the mail. It’s a tape that will put the brakes on a burgeoning love affair, between one young gent and his significant other. She is about to find out he has strayed unless his friends get the tape back.

The movie aside, the ideal excursion may be, for a more established individual like me, between here and London, Ontario, which is a town I haven’t seen for quite some time. It’s where my sister Kaite did an undergraduate degree. I’ve heard that London is a technology hub, and it would be fun to see it. London’s only about two hours away, so a road trip there is the kind of thing you can knock back without much worry.

These are a few famed destinations you can visit in London.

Springbank Park, or the Thames River Park, occupies an area of nearly 350 acres in the western neighbourhood of London.

Museum London is ideal for those seeking more information about London’s history. Its collection includes more than 5,000 unique works of art and some 45,000 artifacts from across Canada, with a special focus on the local region.

With its architecture dating back to 1827, the Catholic St. Peter’s Cathedral Basilica makes for a beautiful backdrop for a picture.

I think, all around, London would make for a great road trip.

15 Amazing Looking Back Pictures

The last 3 posts I published had more energy to them, I suppose, than what I had previously been trying.  I did that by taking a post I’d been editing and breaking it into three parts.  The anticipation for readers that there was more to come helped with the posts, I think.

Also, I used original photos for the posts, which are more interesting than stock photos, although I also enjoy selecting those, or photos saved from Google Images, if I want, in specific cases, to illustrate a film, for example.  Here I am going to show fifteen original photos with copy. I am also including a story I’ve written. If you find the post agreeable, you’re welcome to like it, to comment, or to follow.

My mother taking my arm at a family wedding.  It was the wedding of a sibling

I think my mother underestimates the satisfaction that I gain from my lifestyle.  I think in this photo she is feeling self-conscious because she knows she is being photographed and we are trying to look nice.  If she looks like regrets have occurred to her, and she didn’t say anything about it, I don’t know if that is what she was experiencing, if it is me that is causing remorse.

I remember looking through the shelves of the children’s section of the branch of the library where I most frequently got my books, as a kid.  That library isn’t there anymore.  As a child, I sometimes thought it would be great to grow up and be the kind of person that might write books and get them sent into libraries everywhere.

As it turned out, there is a lot of competition to be that kind of thing.  What I positively didn’t anticipate was the popularity of Internet in the nineteen nineties going forward into the future.

With the invention of social media in the early 2000s, and in particular the gold rush on ebooks in the 2010s on Twitter, there is no reason I couldn’t have turned my hand to trying that kind of thing.  Hindsight, as it’s said, is 20/20.

Today I renewed a five dollar donation to Wikipedia.  While five dollars doesn’t sound like a lot, if enoug readers do that kind of thing it can make a world of difference.  I felt good making the donation.

My father peering at the floor space that we intend to complete.  Concerns about the strength of the floor of the church, my dad Peter mostly single-handedly rolled back the interior, you might put it, and found himself challenged by the handiwork might best suit the building’s needs.  I’m meaning the church that for years maintained a congregation of the devout.

When we took on the operation at Maple Lawn Cemetery, my fathers seemed convinced that the building would fall in upon itself if we didn’t attempt repairs.  The church had disbanded in the year 2006.  While appearing nice from the outside, the building houses junk now, although it provides us with shelter when we are there in cold weather.

When I was in college, I learned the definition of the word amortization, costs incurred when necessities of a business go to seed.  This is certainly an instance of amortization.

Completing a calculation in the field of Louth United Church

The riding mower in the photo is the first we one we had, which lasted several years.  Although my dad is in the background, what I think he is doing, looking at the photo, is looking at his phone.  The sign behind him, next to the tree is the sign that once indicated that you are at Louth United Church.

That’s the name of our Facebook page, too, Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery.  You can see the vineyard across the way.  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

My dad does things like measuring the lengths of cemetery plots so that families that own adjacent plots of land in the cemetery get their fair measure among the graves that have already been laid.  I don’t know what occurred to him that I took this photo, but from the distance I am away from him, I think he must be checking his phone.  We aren’t heavy into the phone arena at Maple Lawn.  I do a lot of my social media and things of that nature on a desktop, decreasing functionality but also working with a fair handicap.

Many of the people I interact with on the Internet are elderly and sometimes lack some of the same insight I have into social media in 2021.  It is funny, as, in the 2000s, I wasn’t adequately trained to get the work I wanted, when even people who landed office seats thanks to their good looks had, perhaps, less understanding of getting the job done than I have in my own right.  Life isn’t fair in that regard.

I think of that when I consider my mother’s consternation for my lifestyle.  While I believe she would prefer that I work a straight job, I don’t know how to convince her that what I do is right for me.

From the inside, a look at a window as night comes to take the light

Once Dad and I handled an afternoon funeral that ran so long, that afterward, it was turning to night by the time we wrapped things up.  It was spooky.  Both Dad and I felt it.

Inside the church, where I’d never yet been after nightfall, and have not been since, I though to take a photo of one of the windows in the twilight.

This is a photo I edited, two photos actually, one a photo of the church and cemetery in the snow, in wintertime, and one a picture of the sign, inserted into the picture as a whole.  I thought it produced a neat visual effect.

A rowboat abandoned in the creek back behind the cemetery

My father pointed this out to me one day years ago.  Someone dragged a rowboat, I presume, into the creek at the bottom of the hill behind the cemetery.  I take it it was probably intended as landscape art, ingenius, I suppose, if laborious.

A book of photographs illustrating cemeteries

This was a Christmas gift from my mother several years ago.  I also have a calendar beneath it, in the photo, and an old photo of a girlfriend’s bedroom, which I held onto from when that girlfriend gave it to me.  You can see she was a creative soul.

Righting a headstone

More ingenuity, my father here has devised a contraption to get an old headstone upright.  He has a mind for invention.

The street where I live

I took this photo to illustrate where I live, along with a caption I inserted that is meant to be a little cheeky and a little funny.  I like how this photo turned out.

The interior of Louth United Church

Unfortunately, the interior of Louth United Church looks a little like this.  Our repairs have never been completed.  Occasionally I press my father for an idea of what will happen in the future, but he has never told me.

The strange globes of light in the air I can’t identify for certain, but I am not above the speculation that they could be informing the supernatural.

At home in my apartment, I took this selfie, which is blurry but not too bad, I don’t think.  I have a look of intensity on my face which I have seen on myself in other photos of me.

A selfie with a Batman cap

I am channelling my inner cartoonist, you might say.  This is a selfie which I coloured blue.  I have a dopey smile on my face, and I am holding my face with my hand.

I think my idea is that it is a “night” selfie.  That I am wearing the Batman insignia on my cap gave me the idea that I was in the act of being a creature of the night, like a vampire.

The Louth United Church sign after a car drove it.

We never found out who was responsible.  When I made it known on Facebook, a few voices of outrage sounded at once.  It was a lesson for me to watch the tone of what I project in a Facebook post.

We’ve never done the repair to the sign, so in a sense the damage became permanent.

My dad checking the lay-out of the cemetery

Dad here is looking for a specific grave, I think.  You can see the back of the church in the background of the photo.  That’s frost on the grass, if you didn’t know it is cold.

The colour tones of this photo have a pretty aesthetic to them, I think.

Digging a grave for a casket

If ever we need to dig a grave for a casket, my father rents a backho and handles the dig himself.  I was on hand this time, too, and decided to take a photo of the action, although with the glow of the sunlight on him, and the distance from the camera, the image of my dad is out of focus.

Photo by Monoar Rahman on StockSnap

Having put together here a sample of my photography, I thought I would go the extra mile and give you a draft of what my fiction can be like.  It is only part of the story but I do have a complete draft that I am a little unwilling to post for free in the event that I could actually make something of the story.  It is one of a few stories that I have written.

Having heard warnings but shaken them off, the main character refuses to heed the warnings and signs when they learn of the dark lord that steadily grows in power that seeks to consume all in their path.

Photo by Joshua Ness on StockSnap

“One for the books,” Jake Sullivan thought, “made the first bus for a change.”  The bus rolled toward him where he was waiting at the stop half a block up from where he lived, Jake feeling glad that he had made the effort to get downstairs and to align him in the path of showing up at the office.  He worked for Cryptodel, it was even kind of a choice job, in the sense that he did a lot of what he wanted and that there was a video game arcade around the corner among the magazine retailer and the laundromat.  Jake was in his twenties and had held the job as a designer for two years, since finishing college and beginning his career in computers.  Jake worked a lot, but that arcade grabbed his attention time and time again.  It got purely mesmerizing for Jake when he started to win at whatever particular game he was playing at the moment when he was in there.  Jake seldom put much distance between himself and computers, but he did like to forget about the hustle and frequently put himself in recreational visits to the arcade.  The escape kept him happy.

The game Jake liked to play at the moment was Vanish into thin air, and it scrolled horizontally and Jake could see he was among rocks and vines beneath an expansive sky.  He was jumping and running.  Blinking occasionally, as he coolly manipulated the game environment with the joystick, Jake suddenly saw in front of him an unusual-looking tree, gnarled and knotted, and as weird as anything else he was interacting with inside the game.

How do I make that vanish? Jake wondered as he came nearer.  The tree was odd because of its incongruency with the other plant growth in the game, Jake could tell from his experience in the simulated game environment.  There hadn’t been other trees looking like this one, and it indicated to him that this tree was likely special, being one of a kind and therefore significant.  Jake expected to find a treasure chest beneath it.  Suddenly the image of a hand appeared between him and the tree.  Jake was amused.

The hand clenched, forming a fist, and then pointed, and Jake was startled.  Instead of pointing at Jake’s avatar inside the game, the hand from the tree was pointing outward from the game to exactly where Jake was standing on the arcade floor, where he was comfortable and relaxed.  The techie who had drawn the hand had done it in the sweeping curves of vector graphics, to be a shape in the game that was clearly representing an organic hand.  How do I get inside the treasure chest? Jake wondered.

“Jump now,” Jake’s instincts told him, and his avatar rose into the air.  The hand of the enemy opened then, palm up, and snatched Jake from out of the air.  Jake thumped the game trying to get his alter-ego free, and it retreated, the vector-rendered 3D environment scrolling as Jake cheered mentally, his character free from its opponent’s grasp.

Jake blinked as his game icon steadied itself on the ground, only partially under his control, he felt.  Bonus round? thought Jake.  Light flashed about the video screen before Jake and it became visible what was opposing the character on the screen.  It was tall walls of stone and a single source of light in the air, a flame in the air, guiding forward to where the bony humanoid had retreated to and the focus of Jake’s concentration.  Jake began to proceed to the cave floor.  Was there a “boss” near indicating progress had been made in the level?  Friend or foe? Jake wondered.

Let’s make it foe, Jake reflected briefly, readying his high-power fireballs, levelled-up and sorcerous weaponry Jake had at his disposal.  He looked at how he would explore the cave, when suddenly an instinct occurred to him that he hadn’t previously known was coming.  What was that?  Briefly adjusting his consciousness as his gaze scanned momentarily the arcade, he saw the sunlight behind her in the door peaked like a shaded window, the game in front of him asking him to fight briefly lost to him.  He reevaluated what he was doing.  “I was ahead that round,” Jake lamented out loud.

A cell phone ringing.  A girl’s voice speaking cutting through the hubbub in the arcade.

Jake’s attention returned to the illumination of the game he favoured once more, asking him to play a reset round.  He didn’t quite feel like jumping back into it.  The girl he’d seen was on the phone.

“Spaceship,” Jake’s unconscious said to him.  Was that sight real?  Wait, he thought.

She was at the controls of a game twelve feet away, her attention completely intent, by all standards, on the game she wanted to play.  She knew videogame action.  There was something urgent about her intentions, something that clued to Jake that there was something different about this individual, something saying to him internally to pay attention.

The energy in the arcade was usually palpable, like a group of mostly aimless young men mulling about looking at games, sometimes with girlfriends among them, sometimes not.  Jake seldom took much of an interest in what the others were doing, anyway, and he always had to leave before too long to get back to Cryptodel.  This one was a little different.  It was obvious, anyway, that despite whoever she was on the phone with, she was by herself, in a game arcade.  The other factor Jake was aware of was how naturally controlling the game came to her.  He was impressed, taking an almost childish interest in her.

Jake’s attention was diverted and he thought of leaving the arcade.  An unusually pretty girl or not, he had work to do.  With only a shade of reluctance, he stepped away from the game and strode outside, where the sunlight illuminated his vision the way only afternoon sunlight does, when the day has begun to go and, work notwithstanding, ultimately evening will come and the day will resolve as it always days.

It was fifteen yards to the office building of Cryptodel, a two-storey building completely occupied by the computer vendor.  Inside Jake got on the lift and rose to the second floor, got out and walked down the hallway to the door to his office.  Inside it was quiet as always and still, unlike the bustle that he’d mostly ignored in the street outside.  He sat down at his desk, his computer blinking to life as he commanded it to boot.  Information signals silently bouncing back and forth in the computer, it became as alive as a tool like that does and he opened a browser, waiting to resume his work.  A notification window opened in the bottom right corner of the monitor for the computer and his attention briefly turned to that, as it was an odd message that reminded him, a touch, of the game he’d been enjoying playing.

“If you can get to your loved ones, it is highly advisable to take measures as though under a state of emergency.”  A photograph of the heavens above was invisible with the odd message, where among the blue and white a NASA-looking vessel appeared to be kind of hanging in orbit, an irregularly oblong design with pyramid-shaped wings extended at either side of it.

“There’s… a spaceship?  In the sky?” Jake looked more astutely at the computer notification, talking out loud to himself.

He opened his computer telephone software and selected Leo as the recipient, his friend.  Six rings and the call was diverted to message-recording.  “Stay safe, bro,” Jake said.  “I’m in the office but I’ll call you back.”

Another quick call out and he got his wonderful girlfriend, Rosalie.  “Hello?” she said breathlessly.

Rosalie was beautiful.  Whenever he was near her, he felt inspired in a way different than working for Cryptodel inspired him.  Rosalie was brunette, buxom and tasteful.  She had more than her share of tech insight, which Jake loved about her, and her brown eyes when she looked at him spoke to him on the level of being soulful.  He really was in love with her.  They got along great with each other and when Rosalie spoke to him, he felt a rush that was better than just about anything else he had going on for him.  He enjoyed his work, it was true, and he put in a lot of hours at it, but the time he had to be with her when the two of them were free and together, was some of the best times of his life.  He felt like she was a very good part of his life.

“You know what’s happening?”  Like Leo’s, it was voicemail.  Jake wondered where’d she got to.

“This can’t be for real,” Jake said.

Outside in the street running past the Cryptodel office, the day was oddly quiet.  Even the arcade, where often a pack of kids would be hanging out given the chance to play some choice videogames, was mostly quiet.  Jake wasn’t aware of the locale any longer, but the girl coming out this minute might have continued to interest him, dedication to Rosalie or not.  She was staring at her phone.  Somebody had linked her into the news broadcast.

Another invasion… she was idly aware.  If she’d cared more, she probably wouldn’t be alone.  Ezezzud, the newcomer to Earth said his planet’s name was.  Sounded grim.  She needed something and she didn’t know what.  Bicycling away, she felt oddly mixed up, as though something had intersected with her and she hadn’t bothered to notice.  It wasn’t this business with the interplanetary visitor.  Something in her instincts was talking to her.  What was it saying?

Components, she decided.  That’s what she had coming to her, fingers crossed.  Might as well give it a go, she was thinking.  You never knew what to expect.

Suddenly a male voice filled the air.  “Sullivan,” said the voice.  Was it from the computer?

“I am riding a Variable Atmospheric Light Bomber, with effectiveness so complex that experimentation is required to fulfill its capabilities.  Your planet, Earth, will be at the mercy of a rapid assault of high-intensity if you refuse to assemble the hardware I need.  I assure you this will be of relatively minimal trouble to you if you agree to cooperate with my wishes.  The alternative is death for you and for every species of organism on this planet.”

Jake was emotionally and intellectually stunned by the threat he was hearing, and in Jake’s life he rarely gave up without a fight.  “What is this all about?” he managed to ask.

“It is in your hands, Sullivan,” intoned the voice.  It continued.  “To bring to me what I need.  You are in a rather unique position, among your kind, to have access to a very specific facility, that will give me back comprehensive control over my ship–and return to me the power to return home.  If you want your planet to continue to exist, you must bring me the computer function you know as Hound Rippersnapper,” the voice finished, not without an impact.

In this case, the impact was the sound of rapid car-honking from down in the street, not an unusual sound.  Hound Rippersnapper, Jake reflected.  That’s April’s AR design.  Cryptodel had at least a few advances in progress when it came to consumer computing.  April was another programmer working at Cryptodel.  As with any female in a male-dominated profession, April had to work hard to compete with the boys, and she did.  She always went the extra mile at all times to make sure her work was as good as anything that her co-workers were doing.  Hound Rippersnapper was her concept for an augmented-reality framework whose main facility was to be on top of an organization scheme for office environments which permitted layers of data to be explored and accessed through an AR infrastructure making working with data much more pliable than the functional apps that were more typical of what the Cryptodel bunch were working with.  What would an alien creature want with something as relatively mundane as that?  It must believe Hound Rippersnapper would give it restored power to the bomber spacecraft.

“What will you do with that?” Jake asked.

“I will use it to forward-drive, Jake,” the voice said.  “To leave your skies and return to my own galaxy.  Otherwise, there will be…” A pause permitted Jake’s attention to shift.  “…Consequences.”

“No more than a half-hour, Neal, I mean it.”  Something was occurring to Jake that made him think of more down-to-earth business than the conversation he was having with this… –alien monster?  Was this for real?

“Just band me for a half-hour of access to her lab and I’ll be out of here before you know it.”

“There is no need for threats,” Jake said out loud, suddenly subdued.  “I can get you Hound Rippersnapper.  It’s still in the test stages, you understand.  A brilliant design.  Let me just get April on the phone and maybe I can explain to her what I need, putting Hound Rippersnapper into your hands.  If that’s what you want…” Jake finished up by saying.

“With that strategy, I anticipate resistance,” said Degub.

“What?  Resistance?  No, April will understand.  I know her.”

“You must do things a different way.”

“A different way?  I can’t just stroll into April’s workstation, and put Hound Rippersnapper in my pocket and walk out.  I need her sign-off.”

“There will be no sign-off,” said Degub.  “You must act as catpurse in this matter.  You must steal Hound Rippersnapper for me and bring it here for me to recoordinate.”

“Recoordinate?  Okay, I’ll just get a key pass from our security office and go in quietly and get it.  I can do that.”  The offices at Cryptodel were protected by remote security officers who could look in to see when and where doors were unlocked and by who.

“Good,” Degub intoned.  “Don’t let me down, Sullivan.  The fate of your planet is on your shoulders.”

“I thought that’s what that was,” Jake quipped.  “Let me get somebody from our security team.  Don’t worry about a thing.  And please, try not to detonate any bombs in our solar system.  You’ll have an army of government if I know a thing or two about bureaucracy.  It just won’t be pretty.”

“Get me Hound Rippersnapper,” Degub said.

Under the circumstances–Degub claiming he would spare Planet Earth in exchange for Hound Rippersnapper–Jake was starting to feel worked up.  It wasn’t that different from playing Bomber in the arcade, he told himself.  Degub had been persuasive, though.  It wasn’t just the threat of complete planetary destruction that had Jake worried, it was the fact that Jake personally was chosen to take care of this.

In another neighbourhood in the city, in Phat City Café, a certain arcadehead sat and ate her soup.  There was something different than what she normally felt playing at the arcade.  She couldn’t quite put her finger on it…

On the phone with Cryptodel’s security agency, Jake got a person in no time.  That’s what they paid them for.  It was Neal, who Jake didn’t know personally but understood the protocols established to keep Cryptodel’s offices secure.

“Neal, how are you?” Jake asked.  “Keeping tabs?”

“Well, yes, Jake.  Everything all right?”

“Yes and no, Neal, yes and no.  It’s April, Neal.  She asked me to grab something from her station.”

“Let me just call there and see if anyone answers.”

“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure she’s there.  She just asked me if I would come by and get what she needs.”

“Let’s see, Jake, I’ll just give her a ring.”  Jake could tell Neal wasn’t aware of the situation.

“To tell you the truth, Neal, I was kind of hoping to surprise her.  I didn’t want to come back here but something occurred to me that I can put with her pet project that might just sell it to upper management and make it a go.”

“Really?” Neal crowed.  “Upper management.  Now, what do you know?”

Neal must like her, Jake thought.  “It sure would help her out, Neal, and you know she could use a home team advantage.  Budgeting, you know.”

“Well, I know, Jake, but I”m not really sure…  I mean, I haven’t had any advance warning that April was even making a pitch.  It’s not like she’s said anything.”

“Well, she is and she has, Neal, to me.  It isn’t nice being turned down when your heart’s in it, eh, Neal?  And you know, if I could work some magic, it could make a real impact on her future here at Cryptodel.”

“I always did like that April,” Neal said.  “Sure would be nice if she was planning on sticking around.”

“She is real nice, I know, Neal.  Just think about it.  I mean, I just need the key pass to her lab and if I could get in there…  Well, then, who knows what the future might hold?  I could drop a friendly remark.”

“Well, tell you what, Jake, why don’t I just put a time-sensitive access code on your key pass that will band into her security lock.   You can get in and out of there as long as the access code is active.  How much you think you’ll be up there?”

“No more than a half-hour, Neal, I mean it.  Just band me for a half-hour of access to her station and I’ll be out of here again before you know it.”

“I always did like that April,” said Neal.  “Sure, I can do this for you, Jake, just give me your membership ID for your keycard and I’ll put on an access code override.”

“I appreciate it,” Jake said, “I appreciate it more than you know.”

Diagnostics for Jake’s keycard complete, it was now authorized for an hour of access to April’s lab, having the understanding, between Jake and Neal, that Jake was doing April a favour for the company.

Keycard ready, Jake made his way to the lift which would take him up to where the engineering staff at Cryptodel had their workstations.  Jake was counting on access to Hound Rippersnapper.

The software was at the other end of the floor, in April’s station, he reflected.  Making his way to her door, Jake swiped his card for access and the door to her station opened.

In Cryptodel, the laboratories, which number two, were secured with excellent keycard technology.  Both “operators” of the keycard system had specific accesses to different parts of the building, and as April was the other senior technician at Cryptodel she had private access to her station, which meant that Jake was not supposed to be there at all.  He tried not to think that Planet Earth could be on the verge of major trouble, but that seemed to be the case and if he wanted to avert the threat of destruction, he needed to get in April’s lab and get Hound Rippersnapper.

He tried a knock in case April was there.  The resulting silence told him she was not.  “Spacecraft troubles,” Jake said to himself, not wondering if Degub was listening.  “I’m going in there.”

Inside April’s work quarters, the room was neat and clean, around the perimeter of which were a number of computer components and, apart from those, sink, door to the bathroom, and desk.  Hound Rippersnapper was the name of the design April had come up with the end result in mind of providing a comprehensive VR organizational structure for office managers to better structure their employees.  Jake knew April was ambitious, and that she was working so hard on this project to climb the corporate ladder at Cryptodel.  Jake didn’t envy the hard work she did for the company, but frequently had lunch with her at Phat City and found her charming.  She was also well-liked at Cryptodel.

Her Hound Rippersnapper was the VR facsimile of a spreadsheet or a database, depending on what application you required.  Jake knew from past conversations with April that the beta version was finished.  And he knew from what Degub had instructed him that he needed to take Hound Rippersnapper, as it were, to the stars.

The heroine mistakenly burns the evidence, believing it to be the forgery.

Looking around the lab, Jake could see which was the master of the systems working there and he sat down on the chair at her desk, where April sat to do her most focused of work.  “I got to make this quick,” Jake said.  He logged in.  An outpouring of letters and numbers ran across the monitor that was central to April’s station.  Jake himself was really quite a good programmer, and he knew a little about circumventing digital security, in addition to busting ass at the arcade where’d been playing earlier.

If his presence in April’s computer was detected, Jake could get into trouble.  It was a possibility Jake would get caught, but there was a chance he wouldn’t.  He was hoping for the latter eventuality.

Jake was thinking solely about what he had to do.  He manipulated April’s computer files with relative ease, understanding intuitively what to do, as he knew April was as good a programmer as he was, although he didn’t like to admit it.  He needed to transfer Hound Rippersnapper to a flashdrive, so that he could provide it to the alien for its spacecraft, and optimistically, spare the Earth from Degub’s threat of destruction.  Hound Rippersnapper began to write to the flash drive in the node, and Jake tried to relax as he grappled mentally with the severity of the objective he was undertaking.

Photo by Matt Bango on StockSnap

Why Mom Was Right About Facebook’s Allures

If the subject of Facebook enters the conversation, my mom likes to say she isn’t on it.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a Facebook account in my dad’s name, and I think my mother also thinks that the two of them, my mom and my dad, have the same outlook, and disposition.  By that logic, I take it that an account apiece isn’t necessary for them.  Comments they leave are usually attributed to one or the other.

Photo by Wilfred Iven on StockSnap

I have a small Facebook account.  But despite having a humble reverence for the David Fincher-directed 2010 film The Social Network, my pleasure in being on Facebook is helping to run a not-for-profit business.  For example, this very morning, a woman let me know, with an email to the Facebook page for the business, that she finds the business very beautiful, and you’ll understand why in a moment.

In 2007, at the sales company where I worked, Facebook on the desktop computers was blocked, so that entrance-level employee couldn’t enjoy it.  At that time, even for a young man like me, Facebook was a lifeline.  In 2012, Facebook App Center, an internet-based portable store, was carried out onto the market.

The store at first had 500 Facebook applications. which were. for the most part, games.  I remember wondering why was this happening.  Why were so many users playing games?

Around this time, my dad did kind of a noble thing, when, after years of helping manage the municipal cemetery for his job, he came across a little cemetery on the other side of town.  Their trustees were hoping to share the burial ground with the district he had worked for.

My father acquired the cemetery and welcomed me on as a partner in 2012.  For a nonprofit, as a retiree might characteristically enjoy working at, presently we require one day a week, ordinarily.

Louth United Church

I am not sure I suggested it myself, but it was probably me who did–making a business page on Facebook for the cemetery, so interested people could easily get ahold of us, like the woman did this morning.  My dad had wanted a website for the cemetery, and this extra measure was one more step, a Facebook page

https://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

I compose posts that flow data about characteristic concerns we have.  You see, I research and blog.  I am an amateur writer.

I’ve composed a few brief tales, however, I don’t have the standard novel or screenplay that an essayist frequently has.  I’m really an amateur blogger with family business ties.  The business page on Facebook has nearly a hundred accounts of people who “like” it, and most of the control of the page falls to me.

One friend of the business, an elderly lady, I got to know a little during her brief visits to the cemetery, and also when the two of us interacted together on Facebook, had advice for me that I continue to apply on the Facebook business page.

My mother may never have signed up for Facebook, but I think she is pleased to think I show the initiative to manage the page.  My mom worked for a small business for many years, as a clerk.  We actually argue about many matters, but as long as I show a commitment to my dad’s retirement business, I continue to hold some cards in the game, between the three of us.

Nowadays Facebook has a significant draw, yet what we would never have expected are the losses Facebook has had to confront.  Remember the lead-up to the appointment of 2016, when it was discovered that Facebook was utilizing Cambridge Analytica?  That information firm gave Hillary Clinton a benefit, as her position was greater for Facebook than Donald Trump’s pass into the White House would have been.

Photo by Sticker Mule on StockSnap

It was trouble.  Trump’s since been banned from Facebook, as well as from other social media.  Granted, Maple Lawn Cemetery’s a small page, and we don’t handle cash transactions there, so the Cambridge Analytica scandal didn’t impact us much, although the distrust in the air that grew for Zuckerberg did have a toxic impact on how people used Facebook, compared to how they used it before the 2016 scandal.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/12/facebook-whistleblower-behind-major-leak-is-going-to-testify-in-europe.html

Two days ago, in the early hours, CNET Tech, when reporting on Facebook going against the British Parliament, discussed online one Damian Collins, a member of parliament.  Even now, Frances Haugen, CNET reports, is preparing to speak to British Parliament.  It was Collins who took Cambridge Analytica to task in 2016, across the pond, and he is quoted as saying, “There needs to be greater transparency on the decisions companies like Facebook take when they trade off user safety for user engagement.”

The issue is that Facebook utilizes information about its customers to maneuver them to invest more energy, again became a national topic Sunday when Frances Haugen, a former Facebook worker, showed up on TV to clarify that Facebook is investigating strategies for better compelling and ultimately how to benefit from kids helpless against Facebook fixation.

Facebook has been successful this week demonstrating to the European Union that Facebook has adequate privacy protections in place, but they remain dodgy.  Frances Haugen did them no favours, however.

You know, I don’t think my mother thinks about those kinds of things.

My mom has the perception that people are talking to each other when they are posting on Facebook.  You can say that’s true, however, I think she sees those individuals “talking” rather than the more accurate description that anyone, when Facebook posts are public, can cooperate with those posts.  The explanation for this is those messages from Facebook, about those individuals that you have been cooperating with, is not that those individuals posting have chosen companions to send messages to (ie my mom, I suppose).

What I mean is that when my mother is happy to leave a comment on a post, say, composed by a cousin of hers or by an aunt, with my dad’s account, the reason emails from Facebook come back to him with reminders is that my mother has initiated contact, with his account, with those family members, it is not because those family members want emails sent to him and to her (my mom and dad).

The drawback I personally have run into on Facebook is that I have that one friend who reacts to lots of the posts I do put up.  He’s bizarre.  I know there’s a cliched perception that if your mother is reading what you are posting on Facebook, you are dealing with trouble, but to that end I don’t remember too many times that the account that my mom and dad use came back with reactions to my posts.

My mom is good that way.  Lots of times, I am dropping posts with little to no engagement, although I have an idea what works to at least merit a little bit of a reaction.

Photo by Lenharth Systems on StockSnap

Many people prescribing what’s called a dopamine detox suggest staying off social media.  Sometimes they say they never felt better after getting away from Facebook for a while (better, or clearer-headed).

I don’t think my mom ever felt Facebook was a problem among me and my brother and my sister.  We aren’t children.

My mom doesn’t like me eating too much junk food, but she doesn’t raise objections to too much Facebook use.  It just isn’t that Facebook is the problem its detractors say it is.

I doubt that Zuckerberg is the disrupter that Jesse Eisenberg plays him as in the David Fincher film.  That really is great cinema.  The brilliance of the ambiguity of the conclusion of the film leaves you with the knowledge of how the film’s events next played out in the real world and leaves the audience to ask an existential question, about the value of what Zuckerberg has done.

Jessie Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is the Nietzschean overman who makes a brave journey, a very satisfying ideology.  I find Facebook pleasant and harmless.  Occasionally if I come on too strong, for a stranger’s liking, I get rebuked, but usually, I pick safe moves that don’t rock the boat too much.  

The Social Network

Compared to both Facebook and Instagram, where the drawbacks are becoming ugly to discuss, I retain an optimistic view of Twitter, and I respect the measures Jack Dorsey has implemented to deal with hate speech, which while known to be a problem on Twitter, doesn’t engender the same conversation that I know of that it does about Facebook.  Twitter is actually getting so it can conceivably warn you if you are writing an incendiary tweet.  It is a changing attitude for the service, for sure.

About Facebook, people say things like hate content will earn more views and that is probably true, although I don’t know why.  Facebook is being blamed for allowing this.  I think that a person can be more attractive if they aren’t focused on material that is hateful.

A spiritual outlook is better, I think, say, like to believe that there is good in everyone, if it is only nurtured.  Hate is a terrible quality to define a person by.  There is vast beauty in the world, and to spend your time on Earth consumed by hatred is not a fine way to live life.

When I was a little kid, my mother would say the cliché, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do the same?”  It’s not quite the same thing, as my mom doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Facebook.  I don’t, really, either, despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2016, and now the Frances Haugen 60 Minutes debacle.

Perhaps those people with whom my mom chats on Facebook, though they may understand Facebook better than my mother does, do like having comments from her, and like having their posts viewed.  That my mother can mentally translate Facebook use into a “chat” that is organic in the sense that people are having a catch-up lets me know that there are probably many people who view Facebook, and Facebook Messenger, the same as that.

The mental concept of Facebook automatically translates into a natural style of conversation instead of being too robotic, which is old hat for anybody who can remember the days that Internet chat was a chief part of the Internet’s function, whether that was AOL or MSN Messenger, or, these days, Facebook Messenger.

Perhaps my participation in services like MSN Messenger back in the day helped elucidate for my mother how it is that Internet chat goes, but it is more likely that talk with my sister Kaite is what educated my mother into an understanding of Internet chat, as Kaite thinks of herself as an early adopter of Facebook.

Like a feedback loop, my sister’s instruction to my mother brought round for me insight into how people view Facebook and Facebook Messenger.  Other people must have similar reactions when they are becoming familiar with it.  While I would have understood it regularly given my experience on MSN Messenger as everybody had in the 2000s, I too feel that I am right as rain about how it is to be on Facebook, but not at the expense of how I feel it is to be part of a community inside Facebook.

The problem is the question of whether Facebook will keep a good enough reputation for itself among most Internet users around the world.  Though my mom’s understanding of Facebook is probably largely due to my sister’s help, I think my mom is right that she sees the use of Facebook in a simple but useful light.  None of that would be going on without my sister’s words of explanation for my mother and father.

I should remember that when I am writing emails to Kaite.  Respect due, Kaite is married and has a little one at home, and has been working in the city of London, England, where their family resides.

My mom may discourage junk food, but Facebook is right by her.  I remember my high school librarian who referred to many works of fiction as being “ice cream reading,” meaning they weren’t high-value books.  Funny how that is.

Photo by Matt Moloney on StockSnap

You’re welcome to like this post, follow my blog, and leave comments.  All the best, especially if you are on Facebook.  If you want to contact me by email, you can, at the personal email patrickcoholan@hotmail.com

My personal Facebook account is https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons  Don’t think you can be affected?  Give it a go. I hope you have a great Halloween this season.

Why Our World Would End If The Great Resignation Proves Short-sighted

Natasha Romanoff

[Captain America puts on a parachute to go follow after Thor, Loki and Iron Man]

Natasha Romanoff: I’d sit this one out, Cap.

Steve Rogers: I don’t see how I can.

Natasha Romanoff: These guys come from legend. They’re basically gods.

Steve Rogers: There’s only one God, ma’am, and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t dress like that.

[Captain America leaps out of the Quinjet]

Starting in 2009, the 25 blockbuster films of the Marvel Comics universe possess an ideology of great distress in a fantastic landscape, only manageable by superheroes with unique, and unmatched, combat abilities.

Marvel Comics adaptations had enjoyed success before, like the X-Men and the Spiderman films, but the stories of the Avengers very much dominated the cinema for several years. From Iron Man in 2009 (earning a box office of 585.8 million US) to Endgame (earning a staggering 2.798 billion US) in 2019, audiences who desired that escape in the cinema largely deal with a contemporary viewpoint.

The Great Resignation means the refusal that many formerly employed people have now toward their jobs. Two days ago FastCompany.com said that a new report by Microsoft tracked down 41% of the worldwide labour force who are thinking about leaving their present manager, inside the following year. What’s more, a survey from Monster tracked down 95% of labourers who are considering a change.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90679444/this-is-whats-really-behind-the-great-resignation

While numerous grown-ups, by which I mean Generation Z-age and the Millennials, are set up to carry on, theirs is a life disrupted. Canadian or American, European or Asian or African, instruction and work and family and land were typical goals set by people until Covid spread. That was the world in which we did our best, before 2020; now, individuals have new liabilities and limitations.

Interpersonal contact can make us sick. Nobody is wrong for wanting something different. Everything we believe about our wellbeing has been challenged by the onset of the pandemic.

In the province of Ontario, Canada, CTV’s cable news network was reporting yesterday that the delta variant of Covid is flattening in terms of its curve, its impact on people, but everywhere people have been required to acknowledge the reality that every human being has potentially only a fleeting lifespan in which to create desired conditions, in case we hadn’t been aware. It is an opportunity that will be an aggregate change in our psychological understanding of ourselves. Anticipating what this will resemble is a significant undertaking for both you and me.

Forbes said recently that the Great Resignation has been documentable since 2009, just presently unfurling, with a lot of gained speed. With opportunities to work from home, many workers have found that, very much, they prefer working from home, over being tasked, in traditional work settings.

Motivation, like inspiring speeches, or books about productivity, usually explores what people can do to get more out of their time, rather than being saddled in the extreme with work. There is now a new expedition of ideas. Personally, I think it is conceivable that what we are attempting to ensure is progress that will see the most awesome cutting-edge living become unreachable.

This is the crux of the Great Resignation.

Successful self-management author Tim Ferriss explores in his 2007 book, “The Four-Hour Work Week,” the virtues of doing as you please. BBC’s The I.T. Crowd (its first series in 2006) occasionally ridicules low-level groups furnished with personal computers. Whereas “The Four-Hour Work Week” explores Tim Ferriss’ strategies to get rich while young, The I.T. Crowd is an all-out comedy spoofing middle-class occupations and the role of being a smart computer-minded alpha nerd.

British Sitcom

Putting a radius on success, in light of what’s already been achieved, is these days transitional. People have become apt to realize life’s fragility, despite the personal power achieved by technology. The climate for this, the individual’s climate, has a constant of significant change.

I have myself by and by experienced disarray about the conditions of my life. I never wedded, nor purchased a house or a vehicle, or a cell phone. I wished to live more basically than having those obligations upon me.

When I was twenty-one, I was destitute. When I couldn’t support that sort of energy, to keep going with a life like that, I willed the least expensive method of living I could make do with. I made moves to that end years prior, expecting mental lucidity.

Two decades later, I’ve been writing this blog for several years. I figure people will hustle despite those who proffer admonitions that it’s foolhardy; I figure we will end up stranded outside of the design that has as starting points characteristics also found in the Industrial Age.

There is a new strategy that a solution is to walk away from traditional roles in their lives. If we are left holding a hot potato rising up out of what life resembled before 2020, we aren’t living in the same kind of world we had before the pandemic struck. A new but disorderly society slowly begins to buckle under the pressure we’ve created for ourselves.

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on StockSnap

If we want a world to live in with the same structure we enjoyed before this pandemic, the gamble we must make is to find a way to survive without the luxury of the constants of work and pay we had before the dam broke.

I circle Internet content on Twitter. If you want, you can follow me by my handle @findingenvirons

I additionally work for my father, who makes his business the activity of a little graveyard. You’re welcome to visit our Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

Plus, you’re welcome to leave a like on this post, to follow, and to leave comments. Email me this way: abackfish465@gmail.com

What blogTO Should Write About Student Lunacies

When better to reflect on lunacy than when listening to Echo and the Bunnymen?  That must have been a great five years in music.  EastEnders cues it, usually on the stereo in the Queen Victoria.

Am I posting about partygoing?

CHVRCHES – GOOD GIRLS (JOHN CARPENTER REMIX)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypUwRjH9sAU

I’m starting on what I hope is a humourous note, that what Spotify calls “early alternative” survives well and good on its own, forever having shaped itself into fashion like shells in the seaweed.

The Wolfman

Pivoting from TV soap to horror, like The Wolfman, perhaps, satisfying his need for power by drinking the contents of what could be a steaming glass cylinder.  He is transformed, haplessly, into the guise of a monster, in order to confront what will transform him.  That is wisdom imparted to me back in high school by the head of the English department.

One of the challenges, when I went to school in the 1990s and in the 2000s, was to comprehend the reading teachers assigned me as a student of theirs.  To this day, I try to read the occasional paper to keep my mind energized–papers of errata, I sort of think of them.  I am interested in how an education for our present Gen Z could relate to what will be going on in the minds and hearts of young people.

Today is my parents’ anniversary. I believe that my mother sometimes reads my blog, and I guess that is sort of stereotypically embarrassing, but I thought of some of my observations, and how they may seem naïve, even at my present age, when I try sometimes to explain how it was to be young, and naïve, when perhaps I’ve never really shaken that naivete.  How can that be?

I resolve not to think about it too much.  My mother can see something I value negatively some of the time.

I once read the observation that social media is like having a giant billboard showing you traffic on the highway, a plain strange metaphor.  My Facebook timeline nowadays occasionally recommends me posts from the site for blogTO.

blogTO

The Facebook timeline, in case you’re new to Facebook, is the piece of your Facebook page that shows posts from both people you’ve befriended and from pages that you follow.  

Like for me, https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/ is the business page for our family business, the cemetery.

In addition to being a good read, blogTO appears tidy on Facebook, and likewise fresh on TikTok.  https://www.blogto.com/ …if you want the link.

When my dad and I agreed to do business together, in what might have been 2011, we wanted a Facebook page.  The church on the cemetery grounds had disbanded in ’06, so a good five years had gone as the church fell away from that.  We decided not to let the cemetery go as well.

It hasn’t been that long that I’ve been thinking about blogTO.  The individual who first brought it to my attention is our dear Pam, one of my mother’s cousins, and a true Toronto resident.

Pam shares blogTO posts typically to reflect how she feels about the weather, or how construction in the city is, or how her interest in TIFF goes.  Our last face-to-face was at my maternal grandmother’s eightieth birthday party.

I have lived in a burb my whole life, with the exceptions of brief visits to other parts of the province, that the province Ontario, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to Florida, and visits to my godparents in Tennessee, a 1995 visit to friends in British Columbia, school in Kingston, Ontario, and, in addition, beginning to really learn in England, when I was awarded a bursary to do a semester overseas, during which I even briefly saw Paris.  If I were a priest, you might compare that semester to a sabbatical.  I felt like Victor Frankenstein, I fancied.

Frankenstein

I wrapped up my schooling with a year taking classes in Niagara-on-the-Lake, a very picturesque town nearby where I live.  I could get a bus from the bus terminal to the campus twice a day, there and back again.

I have also travelled independently,  to the Atlantic, the Prairies, and to Portland, Maine, as well as to NYC and to New Orleans, the latter perhaps for the jazz.  These trips were all brief excursions.  Thereby my impressions of the world were formed.

I felt overwhelmed during my first year of university, starting that up.   It was mad to be young the year of Y2K.  That was the fear, mostly mythical, that computers synchronized to midnight on January 1, 2000, would all crash, given that their computer infrastructure wouldn’t be able to handle the transition from the twentieth century into the twenty-first.

Dad and I have a little cemetery that would be cared for only by the municipality if my dad never had taken the steps to bring it under his care.

blogTO is a tourism blog for the city of Toronto, helping people find out what things they can do if they visit or if they live in Toronto.  When I was but twenty-nine years old, I inquired with Ontario March of Dimes, in Niagara Falls, if I would have any luck in a tourism job, an entry-level job.

My contact at March of Dimes was scornful at that moment, given my reported age, and the nature of my request.  In a way, I never lived that down.  I have regrets, of course.

It is just that it was a difficult lesson to accept that the decade of life that was my twenties was almost completely finished.

My loving sister, Kaitlyn, encouraged me to try my hand at writing for the campus newspaper in our city.  I wrote what you might say amounted to a portfolio of work, ten columns of film criticism that I wrote for the paper, coming out of my own pocket.  She’s another girl to who I owe an apology.

Mind you I had the community support of assistance, with the rent, and funds allotted to maintaining a lifestyle.  The thrill, and there was a word that a high school teacher had taught me that made it desirable, the word rush, was having to go see a film, typically, the Friday night, and then review the movie within twenty-four hours or so after the lights came up.

My mother was happy I was kind of following a dream, but I really was nothing, and nothing came of it.  I was but an amateur.

Since then, the last several years I have done some more writing.  I made a few bucks working for a mill, but discarding that perhaps shows foresight as my present advantage is that I can treat any theme I want at any time I want, rather than doing that rush I tried my hand in, to get credentials established.  The chief activity that’s been on the productivity chart for me is the last ten years or so helping out my father operate the cemetery, with additional help from family and friends, like Dave and Gerard.

I have translated some of my “journalling” skills into helping keep us in the loop on Facebook, which my sister, thinking of herself as an “early adopter” of the social media platform, encouraged me to join perhaps in the year 2010–at the moment I am not completely sure when I got started.  It may have been around the time David Fincher delivered his stellar film The Social Network.  I enjoy that film, as do many others.

Kaitlyn’s been the real deal–when she was yet a single girl, she had a position as a bona fide newspaper editor.  Kudos to her.

Lake Ontario

Twenty years before, about 1990, the soon-to-be-famous author John Gray finished his first book, which he titled What You Feel, You Can Heal.  I remember that John Gray referred to taking your twenties to discover who you are, to find yourself.  I wanted to quickly again establish, with this post, where I am at, which I do from time to time to keep it centered, I think.

I’m well older than that.  In 2021, another famous figure, Jordan Peterson, himself a former university professor, has been bold enough to ask if university life will be finished.

It won’t surprise me if blogTO has his number.

You’re welcome to bang that “like” button, leave me a comment, or to follow the blog if any of that appeals to you.  Thank you for flying with me, on WordPress.  These are only the beginning of the days I am trying to take my work more seriously than I have in the first while, when I feel I had a learning curve.

Personal Links

https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons  Patrick Coholan. My dad Pete got enchanted with making our Maple Lawn a business and decided I’d be a valuable …

https://twitter.com/findingenvirons?lang=en  The latest Tweets from Patrick coholan (@findingenvirons). Rock music fanatic. Award-winning book lover. Introvert. Small talk evangelist. Internet fan.

http://www.findglocal.com/CA/Saint-Catharines/105004929651130/Louth-United-Church-and-Maple-Lawn-Cemetery  In 2012, Peter Coholan, having been retired for 2 years, … Hello, it’s Patrick here, writing a happy Groundhog Day greeting, for those who know us.

http://fictioncrowd.weebly.com/issue-three.html  By Patrick Coholan. Picture. By Jon Pluck. Picture. Version: Mobile | Web. Home · Issue One · Issue Two · Issue Three

Bonus

‘Misbehaviour’: Film Review BY LESLIE FELPERIN https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-reviews/misbehaviour-review-1282933/

DSC_2769.tif

19 Surprising Ways The Debut of MTV is More Refreshing than New Socks

My friend Ryan, made fun of me for wearing colorful new socks, in junior high. We weren’t friends long after he began that. It was, I think ,the year 1990.

Today is Barack Obama’s Birthday.

I’m sure his socks were impeccable.

About MTV

It made us or broke us when it came to the ladies. After all, for a boy that age, the playbook was only beginning to be written.

TV

Beginning August 1, 1981
  1. August 1, 1981, New York, New York, United States

August 1 this year, 2021, observes the fortieth anniversary of the debut of MTV. I think this anniversary deserves more of a mention than it is receiving.

Britpop has a canon. Why not MTV?

It probably does, but not one that I hear of. It fascinates me.

Let me conjecture.

MTV

A TV station that is called Music Television, yet never plays any music.

Jane: really wanna check out the latest Iggy video I heard it was tight, turn on MTV and see if it’s on.

Erica: Bitch please, that network hasn’t played music videos since 1999. You will have to settle for that Vevo horse shit instead.

by MrHobbes69
June 26, 2014

I digress.

  1. Halloween is the going entry for forty years of horror, I think

In movies, awfulness like the Halloween films, the movies that started with the executive exertion of John Carpenter, additionally forty years in, presently, readies a tremendous measure of conversation. It is hard to, even for me, an imaginative fellow myself might I add, to understand why there are so many timelines for the same story. That town Haddonfield, Illinois, shot in South Pasadena and Hollywood, California, never will be forgotten.

  1. Star Wars is the clear contender for forty years of the best sci-fi

We haven’t quite got forty years from Star Wars Episode IV and its characteristic representation on YouTube. The representation of Star Wars on Youtube is positively immense; in terms of canon, the official entries for a universe like George Lucas’ Star Wars is truly stellar. The sequel trilogy crashed twice, back at Christmas 2017, and again for Christmas 2019.

Sometimes people hate on it; more often people love it, and it is quite frequently identified as the most significant storytelling to certain people’s childhood that to retcon the story is like a sacrilege.

Star Wars Episode IX

Vader threw the Emperor down an immense circular shaft in the recesses of deep space and the Rebel Alliance exploded Star Wars Return of the Jedi’s Death Star in 1983. Somehow in 2021, the Emperor returned amid the wreckage of the Death Star to battle both Kylo Ren, performed by Adam Driver, and Rey, acted by Daisy Ridley.

It looked like a climactic explosion that took the Death Star out of existence at the end of Return of the Jedi. Did wreckage persist?

1980’s sequel Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back turned forty last year, and at that time it got a considerable mention on their YouTube channel, and everywhere else on the Internet. One night lately I watched Empire Strikes Back for the first time in twenty-five years, right at home on Disney+. Right at home, I might add.

  1. Superman is another enduring and innovative franchise

The Superman movies began in 1978 and following revivals like the 90s series Smallville, and the 2006 film Superman Returns, two years after Superman actor Christopher Reeves died, Superman returned in a big way for Batman vs. Superman, and in the Justice League films. Like Zod and his cohorts escaping their near-permanent imprisonment for Superman II in 1980, Superman was lucky to defeat them. RIP to Superman director Richard Donner (finished 1978).

  1. MTV came to dominate TV

13 FEB 2017 – 2:49PM
How MTV changed the world with its industry of cool
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8r-tXRLazs

MTV was an interesting journey. The 1970s are recognized as a time when privilege, gay rights and ecological developments contended with the Watergate embarrassment, the energy emergency and the continuous Vietnam War.

The eighties were a novel time for design, music, and film. During the 1980s, MTV was instrumental in advancing entertainers like Madonna, Michael Jackson, Prince, who played in turn.

For fun, I put on about twenty-five songs that were in the MTV catalogue in ’81. I’m unsure Lou Reed was completely prepared for how MTV would change music. Even come 2021, I order the MTV TV channel, a retro channel to round out the mix of programming I get from communications provider Cogeco. Tell me who’s boss, baby…

  1. Funny fright flick Ghostbusters is making a return

I usually enjoy ties to the past. For instance, come October, Ghostbusters Afterlife is set to shake up crowds. The 80s, some might say, was the best decade ever.

Ghostbusters rocked comedy starting in 1984 when it received its theatrical release. Funny dialogue and plot devices plus the supernatural theme and special effects make it a great movie.

  1. Back to the Future is a heavy hitter

I couldn’t say whether Back to the Future is a kids’ film, yet the typical rating for films is that C8 demonstrates a film or TV or game that is for children who ought to have effectively arrived at the age of eight. I think that’s what Back to the Future is rated. I again watched the scene when Doc Brown explains, to Marty McFly, that the inventor, Doc Brown, has built a time machine inside a DeLorean sports car.

It is droll. It enjoyed a resurgence in Season 3 of the Netflix series Stranger Things.

  1. It feels to me like Batman never left

I think Batman in 1989 was rated PG, meaning that the parents of underage kids attending the movie must have their parents’ to put the experience of watching the PG movie into a family context. Pondering that is one explanation I once in a while lament the choice to avoid considering a youngster.

I was captivated by Batman as a twelve-year-old, and I envisioned turning into a reprobate like The Joker. I was able to read some of the more adult Batman comics that were in print and successfully selling at the time.

The Killing Joke is a great story. So is Batman: Year One, which is a series of issues, in Detective Comics, “rebooting” the origin story of Batman, although I don’t know honestly if “reboot” was a coined word in the eighties… I must be too young…

I remained interested in the second and third movies in the Batman franchise. 1995’s Batman Forever is underestimated, I think. The popular opinion of Gotham, now on Netflix, is that it is a great TV series, and I agree that Gotham is superb.

Lou Reed’s song A Perfect Day is in the Gotham series when the Penguin is coming into his own…

The music

  1. Lou Reed delivered perhaps the worst music of his career

I enjoy it. Albums like Legendary Hearts and Mistrial, the video presence of Lou Reed, now older and more mellow one might say (especially if you have heard Reed’s remarks on the Take No Prisoners double-LP during the introduction to one of his Velvet Underground songs), demonstrates a personality that by now is so recognizable that it is somewhat lackluster in the face of what MTV was doing.

Was Reed a great dancer? He certainly was footloose. He employed longtime Velvets devotee Robert Quine for a new guitar presence on 1982’s The Blue Mask and nominally again for 1983’s Legendary Hearts, scornfully mixing him out of the finished album while retaining his name on the album jacket.

  1. Andy Warhol remained an active presence

Warhol is of course a legend and known to buy whatever goodie did interest him, appearing often on MTV before his untimely death in 1987.

  1. NYC began to evince itself, apart from its excellent theatre and theatrical politics, a city well-represented in the media, which some days depicted its Burroughs as havens for fiendish, delirious, magnificent drug addicts and other homeless. The Naked Lunch is a 1959 novel by American essayist William S. Burroughs. I am not sure Lou Reed did enough to identify himself as that “other” Godfather, however, well-reviewed his 1982 LP The Blue Mask was received. “Take the blue mask down from my face and look me in the eye…” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHOBZixJOtg

The addict William Lee takes on different assumed names, from the U.S. to Mexico, in the long run to Tangier and the illusory Interzone. His excursion begins in the U.S. where he is escaping the police looking for his next fix.

The novel was remembered for Time’s “100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005”.¹

  1. Images of street life in the Big Apple

Suddenly a definition of music culture was ready and available to all who might pursue an interest in it. It is amazing what happened in the 1980s around the world and I start to feel stunned should I probe into it. I am so sorry about 9/11.

  1. Music by itself is pretty cheap

MTV was 24/7, and the most I ever made out of possibilities for 24/7 were somewhat hampered by a shortage of comfortable space. I had days that I watched late-night cable TV with an absence of proper audio in favor of music recordings. There could have been possibilities.

While rock music is one of the electric things in the world, we enjoy it in controlled, cool environs, not the great outdoors… with rare exceptions. Someone with a passion for outdoor festivals could speak to you about it.

Remove it to the littlest club, and you have an intimacy that is unmatched, speaking generally, between artist and patrons. The result is like love.

The aftermath. The result imperial

  1. When the restraint against more adult themes came to an end, films that previously had entertained fierce legends about the sights on camera, as with The Texas Chain-saw Massacre depicting Ed Gein chasing and slaughtering people.

In the interim, grim scary movies caused much displeasure against chaste and, dare I say, sane members of society. Whether to put the seeds of rebellion amid the reels of one-dimensional characterizations and poorly-plotted forgettable mire, there was so much box office to be had with films that sunk little previous investment and returned fortunes at the box office.

The devil won, dare I say.

  1. The “dome” crowning these indulgences served another purpose, to elevate what remained of quality endeavours high up on the landscape. For entrants unwilling to descend to the depths of hell but not glorious enough to reach the upper echelon, the spread of lowbrow crime films began like spurts of blood from bullet holes to dot the landscape, forming what should amount to a canon of disreputable fun, if there isn’t such a canon in place already the scope of which is unknown to me. Sometimes it is the best-laid plans of men that curtail our best effort…
  2. A shallow foothold, youth culture was strong as it ever had been, a generation following the sons and daughters of the dawn of love, in a morass to excel at the continuing breakdown of norms and conventions while enjoying the best that the beginning of the triumph of art in the hands of the masses would bring.

Art would soon be disposable, and yet we still have MTV…

  1. The radio format remains consistent. The composition of the song goes a little unchanged, despite the efforts of gifted upstarts who would challenge it. What dictated tastes to the new unwashed was the resale of the same values as what just came before, coupled with the Renaissance of everything new and cool, everything under the sun.

Before long it was soon not even the twentieth century anymore. Time kept running like a river.

  1. Despite everything that came and went about the shape of the media that housed music, the venues that assembled and entreated it, MTV remained like a light on the house of TV. If there was a certain kind of hipster in the house, it was a reasonable certainty that MTV would be there as well. There was no comparable TV channel that could effectively replace MTV.

It proved enduring.

  1. Like a ray of light cast from a pier to the tides under darkness, MTV remains a go-to for information, like who’s who and what it takes to be a part of the culture, and for the hipster that valued the influences of the past recast anew and now again relevant, a weave of customs that never left you, that had never gone away. It remains for you to groove to, to think a little about and to ignore when necessary.

You are the controller; the best of the best is at your command. It is a game of electric crosshairs and you are the sergeant-at-arms.

Paper cups

If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to indicate you “like” it, to leave a comment, and/or to follow my blog with yours. All the best

References

¹ Lacayo, Richard. “All-TIME 100 Novels”. Retrieved 15 November 2016 – via entertainment.time.com.

Crackle Show Startup Got Me Real Interested in its First Season

The video title Startup was added to Netflix in May, a drama series that premiered on September 6, 2016, on Crackle. This summer when I shared some moments of the series with my best friend, I realized that I had missed the best moments of Season 1 and that I needed to restart it on my own to better enjoy it. Startup introduces viewers to a young Stanford graduate with a program code she’s composed that will change the universe of money.

Photo by Vidsplay on StockSnap

In Startup, computerized money is the fundamental topic of a techno-thrill ride. Startup’s girl finds a banker who sees the potential in her concept, and, without being morally bankrupt like his father, who has laundered, and lost, the funds, this bright handsome banker now has a big investment on the table.

Like father, like son, and he leaves his job, incurring tension between him and his girlfriend, to help make the success of the new startup a reality. Unfortunately, all that money is again stolen. GenCoin is the company the trio has created for themselves, the programmer, the banker, and a street tough.

I enjoyed watching the three main characters make a reality out of a dream by dint of their ingenuity. Netflix describes Startup as a slow-burn, and, truth be told, the positive outcomes that occur in the early scenes of Season 1 are before long superseded by various outrageous difficulties, which, all things considered, would have left the ambushed novices speechless, had any of these occasions occurred.

That they resolve to roll with the punches gives Startup significant interest because the trio keeps making solutions to big, dangerous problems. Season 1 of the show is written in a way that feels mostly believable and also satisfying if you identify with, or are sympathetic to, any of the three young entrepreneurs central to the show.

Google gives me the name of this actor, Adam Brody.

Adam Brody

‘Startup‘ on Netflix Cast Guide’s: Adam Brody

Adam Brody stars as Nick Talman, an ethically tangled financier who uses messy cash to foster a tech organization

https://decider.com/2021/05/11/startup-cast-on-netflix/#/

If Season 1 existed as only a limited series, it would be satisfactory in itself, I think, if some expository explanation of what happened after the events, maybe appearing in a few paragraphs of text, to finish the story. To indicate that the startup succeeded and that the trio of players became rich and notorious (in the circle of Big Tech) would have been fine with me. Instead (spoiler), Season 1 ends with an abrupt cliffhanger.

I have also watched Season 2 and I enjoyed how some of the plot threads introduced earlier in the series were explored more fully. Season 2 concludes with a note of glee that is difficult to relay unless you have made a time investment in the reality brief series between Seasons 1 and 2.

I remember my little sister handing me a nice DVD edition of the James Bond 007 film Casino Royale, back in the day, a gift for some occasion (like a birthday or Christmas). We were in my parents’ car, though not, of course, an Aston Martin, like Bond was known to drive.

Casino Royale Car Chase https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ry8ddLxkGJE

If you didn’t watch Startup in May, you could do worse than to permit yourself time to enjoy it. Many notes it hits are electrifying. I didn’t think it works that way.

Does it work that way? It doesn’t work that way. Could it?

Enjoy! Thanks for visiting. You can like and comment and follow.

https://about.me/patrickcoholan

16 Reasons the Attention Economy is the Bee’s Knees

“Most of us really aren’t horribly unique. There are 6 billion of us.

“Put ’em all in one room and very few would stand out as individuals. So maybe we ought to think of worth in terms of our ability to get along as a part of nature, rather than being the lords over nature.”

–Herbert Simon, 1916–2001, market analyst

Simon was an American financial expert who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1978 for his commitments to financial matters. Simon set the “bottleneck,” which limits both what we can see, and what we can do. Current financial matters are generally founded on Simon’s thoughts.

Simon was granted the prize in financial matters for his examination into the interaction inside monetary associations. Fast forward to 2021, and the Internet is sometimes summed up as a whole with the phrase attention economy, and the expression arguably was begotten by therapist, market analyst, and Nobel Laureate, Herbert Simon. In a compelling book, Administrative Behavior (1947), Simon tried to supplant tradition, demonstrating—in an idea—a methodology that perceived different components.

Photo by Olu Eletu on StockSnap

As I understand the industry of Big Tech, in 2021, web designers often work on websites that advertise banners for revenue.

A phone call this week, the two of us in a small Canadian town, surprised me with the news that a downtown building, closed since 2018, had burned to street-level. An active Internet user, who has a blog that shows ads to readers, recounted what happened in his blog.

https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/07/13/niagara-regional-police-investigating-fire-that-destroyed-historic-building-in-st-catharines/

I am sorry that the building burned down, but that I was quickly clued up by social media, I am happy to indulge in feeling is the bee’s knees.

If you don’t know a lot about data privacy, and you wonder how your web searches seem to translate into similar ads on websites you use, it is because you have been observed searching, and advertisers wish to help you spend your money. There are steps you can take to reclaim data privacy, but you should be aware of where and what you do on the Internet, so that you can own your progress, if you liken browsing the Internet to, say, an adventure game.

I’ve thought about data privacy before. Facebook has had a scandalous history of data privacy betrayals, as when they employed Cambridge Analytica to help them unfairly sway the result of the 2016 run for the White House. The effort to cheat didn’t succeed, but the vote was a very narrow divide.

The deceit delivered by Cambridge Analytica led a giant blow to Facebook’s reputation, and was very hard on Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica had been trying to manipulate voters into thinking as the manipulative computer firm was paid to lead people to think.

Photo by Vadim Sherbakov on StockSnap

Many computer users, you probably know, use VPN technology to disguise their location, by relaying their decisions on the Internet through a route that presents a fake location that an uninformed spy might take as your actual physical location (and not the location that you have).

Another retrofitting solution is to use a software scan, like Superantispyware, to detect tracking cookies, which show you ads that have targetted your behaviour on the Internet. Superantispyware deletes those cookies and shakes that control the advertisers have on you.

Getting personal

Something as simple as resolving to speak honestly can have profound and upbeat results. Herbert Simon was a therapist–I spoke with more than one caseworker when I was living out my twenties, and what guidance they provided, I still remember things they said to me, to this day, years later.

Inspired by those, like Rick and Tony and Pam, I am for this post listing what might help “counsel” individuals who are perhaps new to the attention economy, so they are not shorted by their own expectations.

Observations about the world (propelled by Herbert Simon)

  1. Nature is flourishing
  2. We have enhancements in medication
  3. Significant development is happening all the time
  4. Expanded digitalization is happening just as fast
  5. Distant, working, is a clear reality
  6. Enhancements in instruction abound
  7. Another gander, at the powerless and oppressed individuals from our general public, needn’t give us pause
  8. Promising circumstances favour us
  9. Co-operation and social support enable us
  10. Co-activity and social help assist us
  11. Picking who is imperative to us is a potential reality
  12. Working on psychological wellness through helping other people is good for your wellbeing
  13. Collaborations between regular citizens (not government nor police) is becoming a mainstay
  14. Feeling of appreciation might be a new unique norm
  15. Discovering delight has never been more possible
  16. Having an effect is, straight up, a reality

The world is a strange and wonderful place. When you consider, for example, co-activity, you might reflect that every person is truly an individual, and many people have talents that really help highlight other people’s strengths. While there are of course powerless and oppressed individuals, if you can get a smartphone and learn how to effectively use it, you are as powerful an individual as ever walked the Earth, in some regards.

Even with only a few social accounts, your potential is rather excellent. A philosophy of industry isn’t always discussed with words you could charactertize as “holistic,” but someone with an adequate command of many many realities about life, and how to do right, for both themselves and others, can be completely excellent.

Photo by Amar Saleem on StockSnap

Check out Canadian musician and recording artist Rick White’s new album Where it’s fine

Contrarily bound by confusion (to contrast)

My pinned tweet describes how AI has become an excellent tool, in many applications, for providing useful content recommendations. AI can look at what you’ve done before, on a specific service, and can guide you to more good content, to be enjoyed, and that you want to share.

My aim in circling data is to be helpful, to arrive at information relevant to what you might be searching for now, and I am additionally marginally important for my dad’s business, the Maple Lawn burial ground he focuses on all year, with some assistance from family and friends.

https://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

Good hobbies should be cultivated. I feel the attention economy is awesome. In particular, video, both big-budget presentations and little user videos, is widely available. A little music can help, too.

When AI is employed for reasons that include helping to provide good content recommendations, as, for example, when you are on YouTube, quality YouTube videos, though controlled with measures that can feel extreme, are recommended to viewers, by an AI algorithm.

YouTube launched in February 2005.

…”In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

–‘Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World’ in Martin Greenberger (ed.) Computers, Communications, and the Public Interest (1971), 315 pages, index, sources

In addition

Photo by Lenharth Systems on StockSnap

TiVo expands IP licence with Google https://advanced-television.com/2021/07/08/tivo-expands-ip-licence-with-google/

I’m not a guy asking you to spend on cryptocurrency 🙂 That can lose you enormous cash.

You’re welcome to like my post, and to follow, and comment.

I hope you don’t think I’m playing games. (It’s against policy.)

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